Costume competition presents pirates

It’s only a matter of time before
Tyra Banks starts rocking the eye patch on a pirate-themed episode of America’s
Next Top Model.

And when she does, no doubt she’ll
have gotten inspiration from the Home Gas Pirate Costume Competition, an event
that’s become a wonderful part of the fabulous family fun over the years.

This is the fifth year of the
costume competition, said Katie O’Neill of sponsors Home Gas, who are also
involved with the Children’s Fun Day. The event takes place on Friday, 12
November at 6pm and has three categories: tiny tots, juniors and adults. In all
cases, participants take it in turns to hold the stage at Goring Avenue,
regaling the crowd with all the piratical personality they can bring to the
party. Winners will be announced on the spot.



“They’re judged on the originality
of the costume plus their ‘pirate-ittude’ when they do their turn on the plank.
Whether they have pirate jokes, the pirate-speak, all that kind of thing. We
want to see character and fun; they have to involve the audience as much as
possible and engage with them. Kids develop a swagger or a limp – anything that
gives more character gets the crowd going. They’re there to be entertained and
always cheer and make the contestants feel good.

“Everyone loves it and of course
the cash prizes are popular too. The big thrill is to be featured on the float
parade through George Town the next day. It’s like Disney; family values,
having fun and the fantasy that kids have growing up of Peter Pan or playing
cowboys and Indians.”

Judges are the Seattle Seafarer
Pirates and the Las Tortugas Pirates of Cayman Islands. Pirates are judged by
costume, originality and how entertaining they are – it always serves a pirate
well to get the crowd going. Ultimately, the crowd helps to decide the winner:
if there’s a real crowd-pleaser, the judges will definitely factor that into
their decision as well. If there is a tie between two participants, they will
go down the plank again in a playoff.

“It’s all about bringing out your
inner pirate. I would recommend starting practising on your friends and family
now, maybe with some tasteful pirate jokes, and consult with some pirate
terminology like avast, ahoy, me hearties – talk the talk and walk the walk.”



Over the years there have been
costumes so authentic that they could have come straight off the Pirates of the
Caribbean movie set, she added, with some participants so strict to the period
that they will go so far as to wear contact lenses rather than glasses in order
to keep it as accurate as possible.

Ms O’Neill said that the
multicoloured bunting and design on the Home Gas float during the parade the
next day was always fun and that the winners always immensely enjoy being on
the float – as well as the $100 first prizes. Pirates are encouraged to dress
as authentically and tastefully as possible, as this is a family-friendly

“It’s a fun thing; we get to work
with the kids, we get to work with the adults and it’s all about the community.
Pirates Week is a national festival, and part of the heritage. It’s a lot of
work but definitely worth it, and people have a lot of fun,” added Dayne Brady,
General Manager of Home Gas.


To enter, please head to Entries are
possible on the day – for further information email [email protected]


Herman is another fierce pirate.
Photo: Submitted